Pastor’s Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Pastor Caroline . . .

February 1, 2023 “My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit, proving yourselves to be my disciples.” ~John 15:8 As a church we dedicated considerable time last year to assessing our personal discipleship through our Daring Discipleship series. We...

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From Pastor Caroline (9/23/22). . .

Giving Thanks September 23, 2022 “I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,...

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From Pastor Caroline . . .

September 1, 2022 “Go and make disciples of all nations” ~Matthew 28:19 The last Sunday of August, we were blessed to experience a baptism in worship! It is always such a joy to stand with someone making that profession of faith that Jesus is Lord of their life. It is...

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From Pastor Caroline (8/12/22) . . .

The Light Shines in the Darkness August 12, 2022   “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it. ~John 1:3b-5   Are you afraid of the dark? At some...

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From Pastor Caroline (8/5/22). . .

Then You Will Know August 5, 2022 “I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.” ~Ezekiel 37:14   I am so grateful to be home and with you all...

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From Pastor Caroline (7/1/22) . . .

Come and See July 1, 2022 What are you looking for? …Come and see. ~John 1:38-39 I am writing to you from the General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. This has been the first in-person General Assembly since 2019 and it has truly been a...

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From Pastor Caroline (6/24/22) . . .

A Call to Prayer June 24, 2022 Pray without ceasing ~1 Thessalonians 5:17 Years ago, when Josh and I were living in Kenya, we lived next door to a mosque. Each day in the very early morning we were awakened by a to a call to prayer. It was a beautiful sound as the...

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From Pastor Caroline (6/17/22) . . .

Are You Scared of Bears? June 17, 2022 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew...

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From Pastor Caroline (6/3/22) . . .

“Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 I continue to rejoice and give thanks for our youth and the way they led us in worship a few weeks ago. What a blessing it...

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From Pastor Caroline (5/25/22) . . .

Beating Guns May 25, 2022 “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks…come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” ~Isaiah 2:4-5 “You, my brothers and...

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From Pastor Caroline . . .

Create May 13, 2022 As I look out the window of my office, I see the remnants of the old trailer. Last week the company came and demolished the trailer as per the agreement with the company that purchased the land from the church. They removed a lot of it but still...

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From Pastor Caroline (5/6/22) . . .

Beloved Community May 6, 2022 Fostering "Beloved Community" is what devoted discipleship looks like. This is what the mission of God is all about. It’s what mission looks like. Mission groups and churches spend a lot of time focusing on building relationship because...

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From Pastor Caroline (4/22/22) . . .

April 22, 2022     He is risen indeed! What an honor it is to serve as your pastor! Last week we made the journey through Holy Week and it was such a privilege to do that together. I enjoyed seeing some of you in person for the first time! God is good!...

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From Pastor Caroline (4/15/22) . . .

Easter April 15, 2022 “Peter got up and ran to the tomb;  stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.” ~Luke 24:12 I love spring as we experience a change of pace in our schedules and all of the new...

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From Pastor Caroline (4/1/22) . . .

Thirsty April 1, 2022   “I am thirsty” ~John 19:28   From the cross, Jesus cried out that he was thirsty. He had nothing to drink. He had suffered great torture and exertion as he dragged his cross. And now he hung on that cross in the blazing sun, and he...

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From Pastor Caroline (3/25/22). . .

Prepare to Be March 25, 2022     Throughout our season of Lent, we are considering the seven last words of Christ spoken from the cross as recorded in our gospel texts. We are considering these words:   know, truth, here, forsaken, thirsty, finished,...

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From Pastor Caroline (3/4/22) . . .

A Lenten Journey March 4, 2022 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” ~Luke 9:35 It was such a joy to be together on Wednesday evening as we gathered together to usher in the Lenten season. Lent is such an important time of...

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From the Pastor . . .

March 1, 2022 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1  Lent is an important time of preparation; it is a time for self-reflection and evaluation as we prepare to declare on Easter that we believe and that we will...

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From Pastor Caroline (2/25/22) . . .

Glimpses of Glory “while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.” ~Luke 9:29 We may not recognize it as such, but we certainly experience transfiguration. We are bound to, as we live as disciples of Jesus. When we...

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From Pastor Caroline (2/11/22) . . .

When something is so new and different, it takes some thought and intentionality to understand it. To know what it is and how it works. When we first heard about the novel coronavirus, we didn’t understand it. Nobody did. We didn’t know how it spread. We didn’t know...

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From Pastor Caroline (2/4/22) . . .

Unchanging February 6, 2022 “Here I am; send me!” ~Isaiah 6:8 We don’t always know what life is going to look like from one moment to the next. It seems that things are constantly changing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always like change. But change happens...

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From Pastor Caroline (1/28/22) . . .

Called to Hope January 30, 2022 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart; ~Jeremiah 1:5 You are called. God has set you apart and has plans and a purpose for you. Now, how you respond to that purpose is completely up to...

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From the Pastor . . .

February 1, 2022 On Saturday night last week, your deacons and I joined our neighbors at Congregation Dor Tamid for Shabbat service. It was an act of radical hospitality. We did this to offer our encouragement and support following the hostage situation at the...

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From Pastor Caroline (1/21/22) . . .

Divine Joy January 21, 2022 Do you have joy? Do you want joy? I mean, who doesn’t? I guess the real question is: Do you know how to receive joy? When the Israelites returned back home after more than 50 years of exile, they worked to rebuild the temple, rebuild their...

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From the Pastor . . .

January 1, 2021 They say we live in a post-Biblical era, that people generally do not know a reference from scripture when it is given. So, if I were speaking to a group and commented on Cain and Able, for instance, I would need to explain that reference. They say we...

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From Pastor Caroline (12/31/21)

Overwhelming Joy December 31, 2021   Those wise men journeyed from far, following the star, that they might encounter the Christ. We are told that, “When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.” Seeking Jesus, following the light,...

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From Pastor Caroline (12/26/21)

December 26, 2021 Didn’t You Know Today is Boxing Day!  Traditionally, Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) was a time when Lords and aristocrats offered Christmas boxes to their servants and staff, like a Christmas bonus.  It was also a time in the church when clergy...

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From Pastor Caroline (12/24/21)

December 24, 2021 Silent Night I used to love going and visiting my grandparents. My grandaddy always had a story to tell. One filled with adventure and excitement. My grandparents were missionaries in the Belgian Congo in the 1940’s. It was interesting times! I loved...

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From Pastor Caroline (12/10/21)

What Do I Do? Do you remember your baptism?  Do you remember the words of the pastor spoken to you at the time?  I was baptized by the pastor of outreach at my church growing up, David.  David is an encourager.  He never has a harsh word for anyone.  I remember it...

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From Pastor Caroline (12/3/21)

  I was once in an informal settlement in South Africa doing a home visit with a woman with AIDS. Getting to her place was challenging.  There were no roads.  And as I walked down the dirt path, I had to be careful as it was an open sewer.  The smell in the heat...

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From the Pastor . . .

December 1, 2021 As I look around, I can see everyone preparing for the Christmas season. The homes in our neighborhood are beginning to light up the darkness. We prepare with great expectation even as the nights grow longer and the darkness surrounds us. We remember...

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From Pastor Caroline (11/26/21)

Signs of Hope Have you ever been walking down the street in the city and noticed these random sprouts that come through the sidewalk? I mean, you are walking down the streets of Atlanta, surrounded by cement and pavement and yet there will be these little green...

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From Pastor Caroline (10.29.21)

Several years ago I had my children at the pediatrician's office for the annual flu vaccination clinic. Imagine being trapped in a room with dozens of small children being stuck with needles.  The child’s image of hell.  We had finally finished and were heading out of...

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From the Pastor….

Give Thanks “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with jubilation; come before Him with rejoicing. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” We really do have so much for which to be...

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From Pastor Caroline (10.22.21)

Do you know what you want?  I don’t think it’s too hard to make a decision and get what I need.  Unless I go to Starbucks, that is.  A good trip to Starbucks is just what I need to make me feel like I have no idea what it is I really want in life.  When I go to...

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From Pastor Caroline (10.15.21)

Moments of Truth:  The Winning Team I love a good soccer game! I do love watching professional soccer, but I think my favorite thing is watching a good kids' soccer match.  You know that one I mean; the one when a kid gets that soccer ball and gets so excited and...

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From Pastor Caroline (10.08.21)

Do you have a following?  What do your Instagram and Twitter feeds look like?  I was curious as to who has the greatest following on social media platforms, so I looked it up.  On Twitter, the person with the most followers is Barak Obama with over 129 million.  On...

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From the Pastor…

Faithfully Follow As we begin this new season of ministry together, I hope you will join me in rejoicing in all that the Lord has done to bring us to this point together. Parkway Baptist Church has a legacy of faithfully following the Lord and because of that faith,...

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From Pastor Caroline (10.01.21)

In case you have any doubt, I want you to hear this morning that Jesus loves you.  How do we know that?  How do we know that Jesus loves us? Because Jesus loves his disciples.  The night before Jesus died he spent his last hours with his disciples having supper.  In...

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From Pastor Caroline (09.20.21)

Greetings to you all!  It is with great joy and excitement that we join you this week at Parkway Baptist Church. May God’s grace and peace be with us all. God has graciously led us through our endings and our time in the wilderness.  It was our faith in God that...

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From Pastor Caroline Smith (09.13.21)

“In order to be true to God and to ourselves we must break with the familiar, established and secure norms and go off into the unknown.”  --Thomas Merton Our church family, and my family, are “off into the unknown.” When I wrote last, we were saying our goodbyes and...

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Letter from Pastor Caroline Smith (09.09.21)

Greetings and blessings upon each of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Our family continues to work through the logistics of our move to Atlanta. We have been praying for you in the midst of our mutual transitions. According to William Bridges, there are three...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (08.13.21)

  As I close out my ministry with the Parkway family, my heart is filled with gratitude for each of you and the difference you have made in my life. I could not have asked for a more supportive, loving, and committed group of Christians with whom to engage in...

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Pastor’s Friday Comment (08.06.21)

I gave away my books this week. Okay, I didn’t give away all my books. I still have a ton at home, but, after pulling out a few that I wanted to keep, I found new homes for the books in my office. I gave young people whom I have mentored over the years the first crack...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.30.21)

I am keenly aware of the fact that I only have a few more opportunities to share my thoughts with you on a regular basis. In the past, in my Friday Comments I could promote some minor event in congregational life, knowing that there was always next week for dealing...

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From the Pastor….

If there is any good that has come out of the pandemic (and, believe me, in the face of so much death and grief, so much of it senseless and avoidable, there isn’t much), it is that, because we were forced out of the routine of our lives, we were afforded an...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.23.21)

       Last Sunday I announced my specific plans for retirement, something that all of us knew was coming by the end of this year. I had prepared a fairly lengthy statement, but after consulting with a couple of my advisors, I decided on a shorter statement for the...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.16.21)

Summer has been a good time for “easing back into” the regular, in-person activities at Parkway. With so many people on vacation, social distancing hasn’t been much of a problem. The continuing of live streaming and recorded availability of the services has meant that...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.09.21)

This Sunday afternoon we will be ordaining Hannah Rule for ministry. Hannah began the practice of ministry as our Minister to Students while attending McAfee School of Theology. She is now preparing for a career as a pastoral counselor. I hope you will be able to join...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.02.21)

Being part of a small congregation obviously has its challenges. There aren’t as many resources, volunteers have to take on more responsibilities. You know what I’m talking about. However, if we weren’t also aware of the fact that there are also some distinct...

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From the Pastor….

I had the opportunity last month to worship with another congregation. It’s always great to get out of the leader mode and just experience corporate worship. Every aspect of the service was meaningful to me, but I was particularly struck by a prayer offered by a lay...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (06.25.21)

It was a natural tendency for all of us over the past year or so to turn inward, taking care of ourselves while trying to maintain our lives and livelihoods. You were mindful, however, that there were many people who suffered a great deal more than you did. While many...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (06.04.21)

A few months ago, I informed you that there were a couple of issues that I felt needed to be dealt with before our church’s transition to new pastoral leadership. While no events or circumstances had made these issues immediately critical, I felt that it was my...

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From the Pastor….

I had just gone as a wet-behind-the-ears associate minister to a church, when someone handed me a piece of paper on which he had written a story that I guess he thought I might use as a sermon illustration some day. That was forty-six years ago, and it’s still...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.28.21)

I need to squelch a rumor. Parkway Baptist Church has not been closed for the past fifteen months.  We have been out in the world where the Church of Christ is always supposed to be, bearing witness to what God has done for us and what God’s presence can do in the...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.21.21)

The recent change in guidelines related to fully vaccinated people that the Centers for Disease Control announced last week was welcome news. I believe almost all of us are looking forward to some semblance of “normal,” and that includes our being able to return to...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.07.21)

This past Sunday, in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, those of us who chose took our masks off for worship. And, as I’ve said to young ministers on other occasions, if you can’t find a metaphor for preaching in that, I can’t help you. All of us...

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From the Pastor (04.30.21)

One of the classics of Christian philosophical thought is Søren Kierkegaard’s "Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing." Kierkegaard was one of the most important Christian mid-nineteenth century thinkers known as existentialists. The book is an extended sermon on...

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From the Pastor (04.23.21)

It’s time to start thinking about what church will “look like” once we are able to return to some degree of normalcy. The fact of the matter, of course, is that nobody knows. No one knows who will have become so used to “virtual worship” (I’m not crazy about that...

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From the Pastor

One of the innumerable positive traits about the Parkway family is your generosity beyond our own church. Through our relationship with several ministry partners, you have demonstrated that your concern for meeting the needs of the people around you and sharing the...

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